“Mickissey”, Extra Series, No. XX

31 Mar

"Mickissey"

My love of KISS imagery primarily is retrospective. It did not spawn in their heyday of the 1970’s, as I was only 3 when 1980 rolled around. I do however, remember when I first saw Gene Simmons on the television screen, and I remember being completely transfixed. I also remember feeling incredibly guilty of being transfixed as I was raised in a strict Catholic upbringing, and really.. thought that I was witnessing the hypnotic powers of satan on television. Not only was I raised in a catholic home, but I was raised in a home that only listened to classical music and disco sounds (and the combination of the two), so hearing this heightened version of rock ‘n’ roll, .. well it peeled back the artichoke layers of my brain and opened my ears to a whole new form of sound.

KISS, to me, revolutionized the way I heard music, and the way music made me feel. Before KISS, I thought music was only for hearing, but this.. the words, guitar riffs, and catchy drum beats, spiraled my little youthful brain into a chaotic tempest of noise and feeling that I had never experienced before. It should be noted however, that these feelings terrified me because I did not understand them,… so for most of my childhood, I was terrified by them (and yet drew them consistently).

It wasn’t until my teens, where I revisited the icons of my past, where I acknowledged that what terrified me, were perhaps the most powerful spirits of my cognitive expansion. KISS, was at the forefront of this self discovery. I began to listen again to the lyrics, which were so different than when I first heard them. It was like I was reading a book for the 2nd time, and understanding it for the 1st time now that my brain fully comprehended the words. The lyrics were soothing sympathetic verses of not only being ‘misunderstood’ per se, but fully grabbing the reigns of being the ‘ginger sheep’ of the group, and holding power in knowing how to harness the idea of individuality. It was saying to me “Yeah, people may call you a freak, but you are, so rock on with your freak self”.

This is the 9th of the “Children of the 1980’s” Series, and 58th in the TENxTENxTEN collection. The title of this piece is called “Mickissey”

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